Title: Bones on the Bayou: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery Short Story
Series: Sarah Booth Delaney #14.5
Author: Carolyn Haines
Format: Kindle Edition, 34 pages
Published: December 1st 2014 by KaliOka Press
Item Number: ASINB00Q3JFPCA
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Christmas is six days away—and Sarah Booth Delaney has her hands full!
To honor a group of international investors, Shaw, Mississippi, resurrects the old custom of drifting miniature, lighted Christmas floats down Silver Bayou. The Italian delegation from Venice may bring much-needed new jobs and commercial opportunities to this small, struggling Delta town.
Among the investors is notorious womanizer, Enzo Aceto. Handsome, witty, and eager for new conquests, Enzo meets his match in Tinkie Bellcase Richmond. She, too, is an accomplished flirt, and a partner in Delaney Detective Agency.
Enzo disappears. Rumors of murder are buzzing. Suspicion falls on Tinkie’s husband, Oscar, whose jealousy created a scene at a social event.
A body spotted bobbing behind the last Christmas float makes the joyous holiday celebration take on a much darker tone. Tinkie and Oscar flee Sunflower County. Sarah Booth must determine what happened to Enzo, or her partner’s and Oscar’s holiday will end in multiple felony charges.
From paid shoppers to canine and feline assistant sleuths, “Bones on the Bayou” brings the Zinnia gang together to solve the mystery—and save Christmas.
My Christmas tree glimmered with lights, ornaments, and tinsel. Though such holiday trimmings weren't in vogue any longer, I loved them. I pulled every box of family decorations from the attic and glamored the tree until it looked like a "fancy woman in a cheap brothel" as my aunt Loulane would say.
BONES ON THE BAYOU by Carolyn Haines is a crazy, quirky, fun, Christmasy who-done-it-in-the-Bayou novella. The cover drew me to the book in the first place; I thought it was an absolute hoot with the Christmas lights and the Gator! LOL!
BONES ON THE BAYOU is the fifteenth installment in the author's clearly popular Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries series. I have not previously read any of the books in this series, so I can attest that this particular novella is enjoyable on its own. There were characters and relationships that I could tell have played prominently in the preceding books, but the author provided enough information to allow the new reader to not be lost while reading this installment. I would assume that my enjoyment would have been increased if I'd been familiar with the characters.... but this holiday tale was still a very entertaining read.
It was a quick read, but the author packed a plethora of mystery and action within the pages. I actually read a few parts more than once just to fully absorb everything. The story takes place in Sunflower County. A couple, Tinkie and Oscar, have a fight over her flirting with Italian investor Enzo, a known womanizer. Oscar disappears only to be found floundering in the bayou with a blown-up sex doll. Enzo also disappears and Oscar is the prime suspect in Enzo's disappearance. Sarah Booth Delaney takes on the task of solving Enzo's apparent murder. There's a superabundance of covering up by smooth-talking politicians. Even the animals get in the act; Their help is needed to properly investigate all the back door shenanigans. Thinking back, it hard to believe that the author makes this a viable tale in so few pages - but she positively does! AND it all occurs at Christmastime.
The author's Mississippi Delta humor was laugh-out-loud funny. Truly, there's no way you can read this book and not snicker through-out. I confess to cracking up too many times to count. Following please find a few of my favorite quotes:
"Where is Wildene?"
"Just step out the door and holler "Sooie! Sooie! She's a ho hog if ever I saw one. She'll come running."
"Boopsy's Boutique catered to the woman, or man, with money and lots of it. Date dresses ran upward of a thousand dollars, and some of the high-end designer frocks touched five figures. The dresses were exquisite, emblazoned with crystals and pearls, complete with jewel-encrusted shoes to match. Needless to say, it wasn't a place I frequented.
"Tinkie's on the list."
"That's ridiculous. She and Enzo were only flirting."
"And Oscar showed his ass and then was seen floundering in the bayou where a blow-up sex doll, complete with a death threat, later showed up in front of an entire town."...
"Even though they don't have a body, Pret is thinking Enzo's disappearance may prove to be a homicide."
"She's smart and a hard worker."
"A little on the crazy side." Cece inhaled with resignation. "I was overjoyed when the district elected a woman, but Rebecca's half a bubble off plumb."
I recommend BONES ON THE BAYOU to anyone who enjoys cozy murder mysteries with off-the-wall characters and humorously bizarre situations. I can promise you that the author's writing will delight and surprise you. I thought I'd deciphered the mystery more than once only to have my conclusions totally blown away at the end. I definitely plan to pick up more books from this author in the future. I may even read this one again!